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Associated Press, Published August 13 2012

Minn. corn growers largely dodge worst of drought

LeROY, Minn. — The corn on LeRoy Johnson's southeastern Minnesota farm is dying. Just about 60 miles to the northeast near Plainview, however, Michael Zabel expects to reap record yields.

Conditions vary considerably, but Minnesota's corn growers have largely dodged the historic drought that has parched much of the Midwest. Minnesota's projected corn yields are down only marginally.

Climatologist Mark Seeley says Minnesota's unusually wet spring banked enough moisture behind in the soil to help crops get through one of the hottest, driest Julys ever.

Updated estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week projected corn yields nationally at 123 bushels per acre, down 24 bushels from 2011. But Minnesota's overall yield is expected to be only one bushel less per acre than it was in 2011, down to 155 from 156.

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